NILES, Mich. - It was 1953 and then-Pvt. Bob Rodgers had just arrived at Fort Campbell, Ky., for basic training when he sat down to write a letter to his wife after the post's power went out.

Sixty years later, that letter finally turned up, when the U.S. Postal Service gave it back to Rodgers, who's now living in southwestern Michigan.

In the June 13, 1953, letter, the 20-year-old told his wife, Jean, about the routines of life in boot camp. "All you do is march, KP, shine boots, shine boots and shine more boots and brass and more brass," he wrote.

On March 7, New Carslisle, Ind., Postmaster Connie Tomaszewski hand-delivered the letter to Rodgers, now 79. She did so the same day it arrived at her office, she told the South Bend Tribune.

Rodgers, whose wife died eight years ago of cancer, was bemused by the event.

"I asked if they had found the remains of the horse and rider and got the letter out of the saddle bag," he said, smiling. "She just shook her head."